SAN JOSE -- Simmering tension in an East San Jose neighborhood erupted into a brawl Thursday night that sent five people to the hospital, including two with stab wounds, police and neighbors said.

The fight broke out around 10:45 p.m. in the 1800 block of Darwin Way, off Bermuda Avenue east of South King Road, according to the San Jose Police Department. Witnesses said the some of the combatants were armed with knives and baseball bats.

Officers arriving in the aftermath found two men had been stabbed and three had been beaten. All are expected to survive, police said.

A relative of one of the men involved and neighbors said there had been a running conflict between the two homes separated by about a block that goes back to earlier in the year. Residents said it may have involved a prior stabbing involving gang members who have long had a presence in the neighborhood, which has historically been designated by police as a "hotspot" for gang activity.

An official motive behind the fracas was still under investigation. Some of the lead-up to the fight was recorded on home surveillance video, which is being evaluated by police.

Ted Johnson, who has lived on Darwin Way for 58 years, said violence there has been on a steady climb recently.


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"This neighborhood has changed quite a bit," Johnson said. "The violence has increased over the last year or so."

Friday morning, blood spatter still dotted the sidewalks, including outside the driveway of a startled George Pierce, a neighborhood resident since 1970.

Pierce said absentee owners who rent out their homes could be one culprit in the transformation of the place he's called home for more than 40 years.

"They rent out the houses, don't do background checks. Just want to collect the money," he said. "It was never like this before. It's a shame."

Contact Robert Salonga at 408-920-5002. Follow him at Twitter.com/robertsalonga.